It’s a life many would envy, but everything is not always as it seems.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy here. I had a glorious childhood. But my unique situation meant it was a lonely and unconventional one, educated behind these walls and gates by private tutors so that I wouldn’t have to face the dangers of the outside world.
Since history tells us that I will not achieve my full immortality until I turn, my parents protected me from sickness and harm in an almost suffocating way. I don’t fault them. I am their one and only daughter, and the protective nature of vampires for their own rivals any mama grizzly.
Even since I graduated and took up a position in my father’s law firm, he’s kept me safe under his watchful eye.
“Glorious.” My father’s smooth, booming voice fills the grand foyer. He steps out into the candlelight, resplendent in his black tuxedo and white shirt, looking the same as he has my entire life—a handsome man perpetually in early middle age.
Hard to believe he’s already lived nearly a dozen human lifetimes stacked end to end. While the eldest born vampires like Anna and some of the older Messinas stopped ageing at all once they reached maturity, younger vampires born to vampire parents, like my father, change gradually over their entire lifetime. It’s a slow process; eight-hundred years have passed since my father was born. And he’ll never die from old age. But as the centuries pass he will continue to look older, year by year.
My mother, born human, has the same power. She effectively stopped ageing at the moment my father turned her, and it will be many years before there’s any noticeable change. It’s all very odd and subjective as well, so the same as humans, vampires are not all the same as many assume.
As for me, nobody knows. Half-vampires, born to a human and a vampire, are extremely rare. The few Anna remembers aged normally like a human to maturity when the process slowed to a near standstill, just like my mother and father. Once I reach maturity, however, all bets are off. I may not be an elder pure-blood like Anna, but since I’m the “moon child,” that may not make any difference.
Who knows, maybe I’ll start ageing backwards, like that film, or turn into a python and slither off into obscurity or something.
“Thank you, Papa.” I take the final step onto the marble floor, bowing in a small curtsy the crystals on my shoes catching the light as I lift the hem of my dress and they cast stars around the room. “The dress is beautiful. As always, your taste is impeccable and your choice more perfect than I could have found for myself. Thank you.”
“You are welcome, my angel.” He steps forward, places his hand on the side of my head, and kisses the part in my hair before straightening his ruby and diamond cuff links, which are a perfect match for the teardrop earrings I’m wearing tonight. “Only the best for my girls.”
I can’t help but smile. I love when he calls my mother and me his girls. He dotes on us. Spoils us and it brings him joy to see us happy. He loves my mother; I see it flow between them even as I suffocate any idea that I will have anything similar in my lifetime. No matter how long that may be.
I glance around, scanning for any sign or scent of Mama. It’s unusual for me to be ready before my mother. My relationship to time is fluid, and I often become lost in my own mind, in my own world. Like Anna, a minute can seem like an eternity to me while hours feel like split seconds.
“Where’s Mama?” As I glance down the hall, I see the painting hanging. “Oh, it came!” I brush past him wanting a closer look. “Somehow it looks more wonderful than it did in the photograph.”
“Well, naturally.” I can hear the smile in my father’s voice. “No photograph could do it justice. Your mother was just as thrilled when the delivery van arrived earlier, but we didn’t want to disturb you. She’s almost ready, to answer your other question.”
“Just look at the detail…”
The painting is from the Picasso’s Blue Period, a piece not seen on the open market since it was painted in 1903. My father bought it for my mother’s birthday—the day of her human birth—last month on a trip to New York. It was since cleaned, packaged and shipped via an armored, guarded transport.
“I see you noticed our new addition.”
I turn to see my mother emerge from the hallway to their master suite. Her emerald-green gown trimmed with gold is a perfect match for her unnatural eyes.
White silk gloves extend above her elbows as she holds out her own diamond and ruby necklace to my father. He takes it from her as she spins, holding up her blonde hair for him to secure the million dollars’ worth of gems around her delicate neck.